Publishers File Suit in San Francisco to Challenge Yellow Pages Ordinance
June 8, 2011 | Contributed by: Neg Norton
Yesterday, we made the difficult decision to file suit against the City and County of San Francisco, the Board of Supervisors and Mayor Edwin Lee asking the U.S. District Court to overturn the city’s controversial new Yellow Pages ordinance, which effectively bans the distribution of Yellow Pages.
We are disappointed that we are left with no other alternative. The city’s rationale for restricting Yellow Pages is unconstitutional, in that it leaves no discernible limits to the government’s power to suppress the free distribution of information. By singling out Yellow Pages – while other sources produce 99 percent of paper waste – the ordinance is arbitrary and irrational.
Additionally, we believe the ordinance disenfranchises residents without Internet access – including lower income, seniors and ethnic communities – and those that simply prefer print directories to find vital local civic and business information.
This is not an action we take lightly. For years, we have worked to improve the San Francisco community by providing residents with important local civic and business information. We are disappointed that we now need to sue the city in order to provide our services to its residents and local businesses. That said, we believe there are limits to any city’s ability to control how we distribute community information, whether it is print or online.
Our industry firmly believes in consumer choice, and has developed a single, easy-to-use site to stop or limit delivery of directories at www.yellowpagesoptout.com.